James Dean is Dead (Long Live James Dean), 5 Stars

James Dean is Dead (Long Live James Dean)
C Venues – C Aquila

“Hollywood’s hottest star steps out of his crashed car and looks back on his short life. A timely look at how the film industry uses sex, drugs and power to make and break careers. Presented by last year’s Scottish Sun LGBTQ production award winners. From creators of: 5 Guys Chillin’, Brighton Fringe Award, Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival Awards, performed in Sydney, Canada and Off-Broadway; Frank Sent Me, **** (Scotsman); Signal Failure, **** (Scotsman), which transferred to SoHo Playhouse Off-Broadway; and the highly acclaimed Mysterious Skin, ‘Stunning’ ***** (BroadwayBaby.com).”

Review by Richard Lambert, 5 Stars

A fast hour in the company of James Dean, a young actor willing to do anything to get the work. In Hollywood where the millionaires run the businesses, with that much money they could buy people in “the game” but they prefer to use their influence to have budding performers.

Kit Edwards portrayal of James Dean is engaging. Of course Kit Edwards is a beautiful and handsome young man – he’d have to be to portray James Dean. The play tells the stories that give an insight into how difficult “the business” is, what he was willing to do, what he actually did, what he allowed other to do to him to get the role. With an attitude of “if you don’t know how to use your body and sexuality, then you must learn to earn.” Dressed in the iconic style of James Dean and knowing how to swagger for attention, all the while an inner desperation to get the roles and struggling for recognition. Despite all this James has a pragmatic attitude to the abuse and at one point admits he might quite like the way he’s treated. In these times of #metoo it’s hard to imagine that this behaviour was considered the norm in some circles at one point.

The production values here are superb. With a Soundscape that’s subtle, sync’d into the lighting, camera flashes and clicks are a brilliant snap between “moments.” Lighting by Clancy Flynn nails the brash and the subtlety at just the right moments. Its so wonderful to see such a well-constructed slick production at the Fringe as these are few and far between.

James Dean is Dead has been beautifully put together by Director Peter Darney. An eye-opening shocking story presented with love and understanding.

Further information

Em-Lou productions
Edinburgh Festival C Venues Aquila 19 – 27 August

Written by Jackie Skarvellis I
Directed by Peter Darney

James Dean Is Dead, (Long Live James Dean) is a timely look at how the film industry uses sex, drugs and power to make and break careers.  As James Dean, Hollywood’s hottest star, steps out of his crashed car he looks back on his short life in no-holes-barred look at the life of an icon. A powerful one-man show examining Hollywood’s value system and its effect.

Written by Jackie Scarvellis who sadly passed away in 2016, Jackie had left money to help fund this production. Starring Kit Edwards and directed by Peter Darney, this play will be at C Venues at Edinburgh Festival 19 – 29 August.

When I was asked by my publisher to take this on, I of course knew of James Dean, and thought of him as a beautiful and Iconic star whose life ended tragically. What I hadn’t realised was how tragic his life was- the exploitations and manipulations he endured as given for an actor working in Hollywood, and how closely that resonates with the Harvey Weinstein stories of today, making it the right time to once again tell his Story.” – Director Peter Darney

James Dean Is Dead, (Long Live James Dean) will be performing at Brighton Fringe, Kings Head Theatre and Edinburgh Festival, where Em-Lou Productions were the winners of the 2017 inaugural Scottish Sun best LGBT Production Award.

Jackie Skarvellis, writer
Jackie trained at the RWCMD. IN 2009 she received a “Best Fringe Auteur” award from Fringe Report. As a writer, her plays include: The Hall of Fallen Ushers, Everyone Wants to be Bette Davis, Eat Your Heart Out Joan Crawford, Carry On Brighton, Still Waters and James Dean is Dead! (Long Live James Dean).

As an actress, TV credits include Dr Who, Birds of a Feather and Casualty. Theatre credits include Madam Dubarry in Reflections (Theatre Royal Haymarket) Jocasta in Sophocles (Theatre Clwyd) Queen Victoria in The Pirates of Panzance (ENO).

Peter Darney, Director
Peter trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. He wrote and directed the mulit-award winning  5 Guys Chillin’ (The King’s Head Theatre/ SoHo Playhouse Off-Broadway (Brighton Fringe Award, Best LGBT Play 2016) Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival ( Doric Wilson Intercultural Dialogue Award) It has also been produced by The New Theatre Sydney and Kensington Hall Toronto. Other recent directing credits include:  The Drag (Arcola Theatre) The Revengers Tragedy (The Rose Playhouse) Pinocchio (Sutton Theatres), Signal Failure (SoHo Playhouse-Off Broadway 6 week run/ The Underbelly Edinburgh). Kindness– BBC Radio 4 (Pick of the week- the Independent), Frank Sent Me (The King’s Head/The Underbelly/ Theatre 503), Githa (St James Theatre, W/E and York Theatre Royal) 6 degree’s (Soho Theatre: Main House), Frank Sent Me (Soho Theatre, Best Play 2012 Writer’s Avenue), Edward II (The Rose Playhouse ), Mysterious Skin (Gilded Balloon, The Drill Hall, Teacher’s Club, Dublin).

Kit Edwards, Actor
Kit is a Midlands born Belfast raised actor who trained at The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts where he had the opportunity to perform leading roles in Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, The Crucible and The Wind in the Willows. James Dean is Dead (Long Live James Dean) is Kit’s theatrical debut since graduating from ALRA.

Edinburgh Festival, C Venues Aquila

19-27th 4pm

Em-Lou Productions previous work includes the multiple award-winning 5 Guys Chillin’ (Brighton Fringe Award, 2 Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival Awards) and has been performed in Sydney, Canada and Off-Broadway. Also Frank Sent Me(Scotsman ****) Signal Failure (Scotsman ****) which transferred to SoHo Playhouse Off-Broadway and the highly acclaimed Mysterious Skin “Stunning” Broadway Baby *****

For more information contact laurahortonfreelance@gmail.com I 07810541401